President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Kristen M. Oaks, share a lifelong interest. They love to discover the stories of their ancestors. And they encourage you to do the same.
Sitting side by side to deliver the keynote address at the closing session of RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, President and Sister Oaks shared personal experiences from their life and family.
Individuals become connected to their ancestors through knowledge of their lives, President Oaks said. “We bond with them as we understand the circumstances and personal values that shaped them. They are real people to whom we owe our existence in this world and whom we will meet again in the hereafter. We learn better who we are, where we come from, and are blessed with a clearer vision of where we are going.”
He said those who search out their ancestors’ actions and words will receive strength and direction in their own lives.
Sister Oaks said the objective of their presentation was to share “ideas you can use with your own families to influence them.”
But in addition to gathering ancestors’ stories, the couple agreed, individuals must share those stories again and again.
As parents and leaders guide youth to connect their “technological expertise” to discovering ancestors on FamilySearch, Sister Oaks added, “a powerful spiritual journey begins. They connect with real ancestors of great consequence to them, who may have waited years to have their saving ordinances performed. It is an explosive combination. Our logging on to FamilySearch is far more rewarding than logging on to Facebook.”